Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Natural Causes: Book Review

Published April 10, 2018.
Barbara Ehrenreich loans her considerable talent to the question, "How much control do we have over our longevity?"

The result is her April 10, 2018 book, Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer.

As a gerontologist and a self-professed health nut, I was attentive to her claim that we have a lot less control over our health than we (middle class people from industrialized nations) like to admit.

Her first few chapters describe the escalating number of diagnostic tools and treatments.

Increased health is primarily available to those with health insurance and the means to pay for premiums, co-pays, and deductibles--as well as to those who can go the extra mile and pay for gym memberships, meditation programs and organic produce.

But does throwing money at the aging body really result in longevity? Ehrenreich argues that it does not.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Creating Unlimited Options for Aging: Book Review

Published October 12, 2017.
Joe Carella has been challenging institutional settings for over two decades.

Based on extensive personal and professional experience,  Carella eventually established the Scandinavian Living Center (SLC) in Newton, Massachusetts

He drew on his experience growing up in a tight-knit neighborhood in the Greater Boston area, his experience being admitted into a geriatric ward when he was a high school student, and his experience visiting several autonomous, community-based housing in Scandinavia.

Since opening its doors in 2001, the SLC has become a crossroads for inter-generational connectivity.

More than 2,000 people per month--not counting friends and family members of residents--come to the site to participate in an array of activities.

More than 25 nonprofit organizations and clubs use the spacious common areas for meetings, projects, performances, and presentations. Yes, there are 40 apartments at the SLC; however, about half of the building space is dedicated to common areas.

Carella expresses particular delight when the "walls" between residents and visitors dissolve during community events. As Carella told the Leading Age: "I love it when [visitors] come for an event and don't have any idea this is an assisted living community."

How has Carella served as a catalyst for this integration of ages, abilities, and interests?

Reading Creating Unlimited Options for Aging: The Path Forward (October 12, 2017) provides a lot of great detail.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

2018 Mid-America Institute on Aging and Wellness Preview

Visit the official 2018 MAIA page here
This August will be my third year attending this engaging conference. It's the Eleventh Annual Mid-American Institute (MAIA) on Aging and Wellness, held August 9th and 10th, 2018 at University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Indiana.

Health care professionals can earn continuing education credit for attending. 

I usually only post about MAIA after I attend. 

[Updated to add reports about MAIA 2018 Keynotes/Plenaries and the Concurrent Sessions]

This year, I decided to give TGAM blog readers an opportunity to attend by posting key details a few weeks before.

Evansville is in the tristate area of SW Indiana. The USI campus is only two hours south of Bloomington, Indiana and two hours west of Louisville, Kentucky. It's also a comfortable drive from St. Louis (2.5 hours), Nashville (2.5 hours) and Indianapolis (3 hours).

The keynote address by Ashton Applewhite on Thursday, August 9th 3 pm is FREE and OPEN to the public.  However, registration is required to ensure that everyone has a seat.

If you are interested in maintaining wellness of mind, body, and spirit throughout the lifespan, consider attending all or part of the conference. Registration information is available on the official page.

Many healthcare professionals attending earn CME credits (continuing medical education), but a good portion of those present are not healthcare professionals; they are community members who are pro-active about their physical, financial, social, and emotional health.